Have you ever responded to something new with the line “I’d love to, if only I had more time.”? Whether being asked to try something new, make a new habit or change something about yourself, this response is common.
Personally I’ve used the line when challenged to clean up my organizational habits, my classroom practice, my healthy eating habits and my fitness regime. This so called “lack of time” seems to be a valid and socially accepted way of diverting attention away from the fact that we really don’t want to change, simply due to fear.
We can easily look around and see how our friends have improved their lives by being active, eating better and adapting habits that make them happy. We witness wonderful things from our colleagues when they incorporate new teaching strategies and technology into their classroom. We know deep down that these changes could benefit ourselves and those around us, but that moment of fear takes hold and suddenly it’s easy to surround ourselves in the safe cage of “time”.
Now I’m not implying that “time” isn’t an actual issue, I myself find myself wishing for more of it everyday. There is a however the reality that “time” is limited, but I also ask you to consider that “time” can also be an excuse. If the activity presented to you can make you healthier, happier, more organized, efficient or engaging, what do you have to lose?
Just for a moment, think back to a time when although you used the “time” excuse. To a time when you actually tried the activity and the change that took place and the feelings you experienced were life changing. Did you try a new activity that suddenly became your favorite hobby? Did you become healthier and happier by replacing an old habit with something new? Have you swapped up the way you used to do things with something different using technology? Now, can you imagine falling back into your old habit?
What helped you be successful when you tried to change? You didn’t magically find more time in the day, you simply decided to swap out something you already did with something new. Changing old eating habits for new healthy ones. Participating in an activity instead of sitting on the couch. Engaging your students with discussion instead of having them answer worksheet questions. Using technology to inform parents instead of relying on papers to get home from school. Regardless of the change, the simple choice you made to just try was all it took to see results.
I have a challenge for you. The next time you get asked to try something new, when the “time” excuse starts to flow, ask yourself, is “time” really the issue, or am I fearful of the change? If your response is fear, face it head on and see if the challenge can help make you happier, healthier or more productive. You never know, the challenge just may change your life, or those of the lives around you.